Day 2: Perseverance

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV

 

WHAT WE SEE IN THE FILM: Jesus faced opposition along the way -- from Pilate, unbelievers, the religious leaders, Satan, even His own disciple. We see in the film Peter strikes the ear off one of the men coming to arrest Jesus. In John 18:11 NIV Jesus says to Peter, “Put your the sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me?” Even Mary, Jesus’ mother, when she sees Him fall, she runs up to Him to comfort Him. Broken by the pain that He was enduring, Mary knew Jesus’ purpose. He was here to fulfill the prophecy. He says to her, “I make all things new.” She realizes that she must let Him go.

PURSUE THE PASSION: Perseverance happens when the preparation has been done. The definition of perseverance is a steady persistence in a course of action especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles or discouragement. It is easy to stay comfortable, to remain in a routine of what we’ve been doing. In Acts 20:24 NIV it says, “However, I consider my life worth noting to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me — the task of testifying to the good new of God’s grace.” By keeping this scripture in mind when we face adversity, it is those challenges that grow us and teach us to endure, causing us to rely on God, bringing us into a deeper faith in Him.

WHAT WE LEARN FROM JESUS:
  • There will be obstacles and opposition. We will fall but we must pick ourselves up. Things and people can get in our way, distract or hinder us in our fight, but we must keep pressing on, keeping our eyes on Jesus. We are part of a bigger plan, a mission that puts God’s glory at the center of our lives displaying to those around us, it is because of His strength we can continue the good fight.
  • Perseverance should not be self-driven, but it must be God-driven. Who do we listen to? How do we decipher which voices to hear amongst the many? We must remember that we cannot lean on our own understanding. This is where we lose heart and find ourselves broken, unable to continue on. Why? Because we are human, in need of a Savior who that is driving everything we do to point to Him, His strength, His love, His talents.
  • Get uncomfortable.When we step out of the boat, we are stepping into faith. There will be times we think we know where He has us going, but other times it will seem like we’re sinking. One way or another we can overcome our fears and the challenges set before us when leaning on Christ.
QUESTIONS:
  1. Do you ever feel like you just can’t go any further? That your cross might be too heavy to carry? Share a little about how you get back up and keep going.
  2. Who are the people in your life that help you keep going when you face tough challenges? List their names and praise God for each of them. Are there ever people who hinder you from going on, even if they have the best of intentions? Jesus tells His mother, “I make all things new.” What do you say to those who may stand in your way or distract you from finishing the task you’ve been given?
  3. Are there ever people who hinder you from going on, even if they have the best of intentions? Jesus tells His mother, “I make all things new.” What do you say to those who may stand in your way or distract you from finishing the task you’ve been given?

CHALLENGE:

Pursue Perseverance. There will be days we feel like giving up, after facing tough challenges. Inspiration and strength to carry on comes from Jesus. Ephesians 6:10-18 gives you instructions to put on the full armor of God. Today is the day to put on that armor and begin to fight like the warrior God created you to be. Read through Ephesians, then do something you have put off or decided was just too hard for you to accomplish. Maybe it’s signing up for a new class or trying out for a sports team. Remember, when it looks impossible, then you’re probably in the right place because God wants you to rely on Him and not yourself. He wants to press you into your full potential.

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